Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a graduate/professional degree. In some cases, students in the teaching credential program pursuing their preliminary credential may be eligible provided they have not already earned a graduate/professional degree and are enrolled in at least 6 units of coursework each semester.

The Federal Pell Grant program provides funds to every eligible student.

Learn more about Pell Grants from the Federal Student Aid website.


The amount you receive is based on:

  • The information you report on your FAFSA
  • The number of units for which you enroll each semester (see: How Enrollment Affects Aid).

You may receive Pell Grant funds from only one school at a time and the amount you receive cannot exceed your maximum eligibility for the academic year, which includes summer session enrollment.

Summer Pell Grant

If eligible for Pell Grant, you may be able to receive additional funds to attend SDSU Summer Session.

Lifetime limit

You are limited to receiving a lifetime maximum of 12 full-time equivalent semesters of Pell Grant.

The U. S. Department of Education:

  • Will track your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) and notify you if you have reached, or are close to reaching, the 12-semester limit
  • Provides information and examples of how they calculate the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters and how you can monitor the semesters you've used

How to apply

After October 1 each year, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered automatically for this grant. 

  • The FAFSA and instructions are online at the FAFSA website.
  • You will be considered automatically for Pell Grant.
  • You may apply before being admitted to SDSU.

Read more about how to apply and SDSU's priority deadlines.